A fire erupts in the school sector of the City. The whole morning is filled with smoke and ash. Ibal and I treat burns and scalds as well as smoke inhalation. When I go home, Sa gives me a look.
“You sure you didn’t start it?”
It is said half-jokingly, half-snide remark. I refuse to sar bait. Instead I water the sapling and play with Heart. She is fast outgrowing her dresses.
Sa shrugs and goes back to leather-working. Sar has set up shop, offering carpentry and leather-making services. We look like a little family.
The earthquake strikes early morning. The bed starts shaking and Heart whimpers. Sa and I rush out of our apartment, Heart held tight to my chest, joining the rest of the block dwellers, all in their slips and bed sheets. Ibal emerges from his clinic, carrying his medical bag, Suriah a basin of clean water.
“Time to work,” Ibal beckons to me.
The ground rumbles like a big animal stirring in its sleep. A few bricks break loose from the apartment roof.
“Time to work,” I repeat to myself and hands Heart over to Suriah.
The injured start streaming in almost as immediately. Some areas seem more affected than ours with the number of cuts and gashes to be treated. One woman has died. Even for that death, the City mourns.
Women and men set up temporary soup kitchens to feed those made homeless by the earthquake. Pots filled with vegetables and legumes are wheeled about, women in the garb of the City’s council dishing the soup into bowls and tins.
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1/2 apple, cored and chopped
• 1/4 cup white rice
• 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half – cut into cubes
• salt to taste
• ground black pepper to taste
• 1 pinch dried thyme
• 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
1. Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
2. Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.
3. When serving, add hot cream.